The Case for Regicide

By Ramzy Nasrallah on March 25, 2011 at 8:08a
143 Comments
Image credit: Mr. 2 Cents

Jim Tressel is an incredibly skilled football coach and program steward.  However it is increasingly apparent that he is inversely skilled in the delicate dark arts of cheating and lying.

If Tressel is really this Teflon-coated serial swindler that has continually subverted NCAA rules for decades as many of his detractors claim, then all of a sudden he has completely lost control of his craft.  If the sudden atrophy of his conniving abilities was first revealed by the flimsy excuses he gave for not immediately reporting the Tatgate scandal at the hasty press conference following the revelation that Ohio State was investigating the timeline, it was totally confirmed by the Dispatch report this morning of whom Tressel did report the news to.

Once Tressel was covertly alerted by attorney Christopher Cicero that several of his star players were probably selling their possessions to a tattoo parlor proprietor who was about to be implicated in a Federal drug trafficking probe, he had some choices to make.  Unfortunately, his options only ranged from bad to terrible:

1) He could have done nothing and "found out" like everyone else eventually once the news went public.  The "it got lost in my giant inbox" folder could have worked, since there would have been no hard evidence that he actually read it.  The players would have eventually been ruled ineligible, but the storm Tressel would be facing now wouldn't be nearly this violent.

2) He could have immediately told Gene Smith and the Ohio State compliance office.  The players would have eventually been ruled ineligible, but Tressel would be facing none of this mess.

3) He could have gone offline and off the communication grid - which is how he always handled these things at Youngstown State, with Clarett, etc, right? - and worked the appropriate channels to make the problem go away.  The players might have eventually been ruled ineligible, but Tressel would be facing none of this mess if his tracks were appropriately covered (if Tressel really is who Tressel haters say he is, this should have happened).

4) He could have used his extremely traceable Ohio State email account which can be accessed by a simple public records request to email a known booster who has long been rumored to be an unsavory handler of Terrelle Pryor since his childhood to see what he thinks Tressel should do.  And then lie about it.

This isn't Monday morning quarterbacking.  You don't need hindsight to know not to do what Tressel did.  No 58-year old requires a lesson in morals to understand that lying is wrong, and he doesn't need a lecture on semantics to suddenly discover that lying by omission is called lying.  He also didn't need a refresher course on what constitutes cheating - whether selling one's own possessions or lying about it - is as far as the NCAA is concerned.  This is a cover-up rivaled in sloppiness by a lazy fifth-grader plagiarizing by lifting directly from Martin Luther King or Abraham Lincoln.

Earlier this week I wrote that it was a huge stretch to compare Bruce Pearl to Tressel in that Pearl both repeatedly and directly cheated and lied to the NCAA about his actions, whereas Tressel lied about rules violations committed by his players.  That stretch has shrunk a bit, now that we know Tressel's lie could be easily confirmed by his own Ohio State email account.  It's not quite as ridiculous as Pearl lying to the NCAA that a photo of him and Aaron Craft at his house wasn't taken at his house (the proof's in the picture!) but it's definitely up there (the proof's on your desktop!)  Even the least scrutinizing investigator could have discovered this.  You can make a public records request to read Gene Smith's or Gordon Gee's email if you'd like.  The Freedom of Information Act is almost 50 years old; the electronic amendment to it was enacted under Bill Clinton.  One more item to file under things that a 58-year old shouldn't need to be taught.

As for the recipient of those emails, Ted Sarniak, Tressel literally could not have chosen a worse person to create an electronic paper trail to.  Whether "Uncle Teddy" - what Pryor calls him - is guilty of doing the kind of boostery things the NCAA frowns upon or not is immaterial.  This is another case in a long line of battles between perception and reality.  The perception is that Sarniak is dirty.  The perception is that the NCAA botched the Cam Newton case (also the reality as well, but this is relevant to the Tatgate aftermath because the NCAA is probably interested in fighting the perception).  The perception is that there's far more to this ordeal in the dark underbelly of the Ohio State athletic department than has been revealed, and by confiding in Sarniak - of all people - the teeth of that perception just grew sharper and sprouted chainsaws.

In the broader view of Tressel as a cheater, there are two possibilities here: He has either been a relatively clean coach; an abider of NCAA rules his entire career that clearly - as dramatically illustrated by this ordeal - sucks at being duplicitous.  Or he has suddenly lost his grasp on getting away with it and has allowed his defenses and better, diabolical judgments to slip - as dramatically illustrated by this ordeal. 

Regardless, a head coach has to be good at this kind of stuff.  From playcalling to recruiting to program management, a head coach is only as good as the decisions he makes.  Big ticket jobs that compensate exponentially more than your crappy job pays you are that valuable largely because of the decisions those people are chartered with making. It's no different in Tressel's profession.  If there is a case to be made for removing Tressel from his position at Ohio State - or for him removing himself - it may be related to the growing, stinky cloud of evidence that he acted underhandedly.  However, as an Ohio State fan and college football realist, I'm far more concerned with his galling lack of sound decision-making that led to all of this. 

Yes, lies are definitely bad.  But as the noted philosopher Pryor famously once said, everyone lies.  If everyone who lied was on the chopping block for doing so, we'd all be fired and/or dead. But stupidity is a different story.  With every emerging detail of this story, Tressel becomes less and less virtuous (I was trying to protect the kids) and increasingly stupid (I emailed the shadiest character associated with Ohio State football since Robert Q. Baker without using an alias or a secure connection).  Regardless of how the NCAA or Ohio State rules in Tressel's fate, this exasperating lapse in judgment is what should be bothering you the most.

143 Comments

Comments

Denny's picture

Tressel clearly isn't familiar with the idea of a batphone.

Taquitos.

WestCoastBuckeye's picture

well played sir, well played.

The_Lurker's picture

In a public-records request, The Dispatch asked Ohio State officials for emails involving Tressel and Sarniak, and the university is reviewing its records. So it remains unclear when Tressel forwarded emails to Sarniak, whether the businessman received them and, if he did, what happened as a result.

What is also unclear: the actual content of the forwarded email (i.e. What did JT say?). Could have been something like "Hey, I got this troubling email and wanted to see if you knew anything about TP selling some of his stuff." I'm sure we'll find out eventually, but so far what do we really know about it?

Either way it's troubling, certainly. What bothers me most about this whole situation is that A) It isn't over yet, and B) It has turned Ramzy from someone who is normally the first to espouse not running into the panic room and going into lockdown, into someone who jumps straight into the let's-not-wait-for-more-details-before-screaming-about-the-sky-is-falling crowd. The fact that this situation could do the latter is reason enough to hate everything about it.

Also, I find that pic very disturbing.

Denny's picture

Didi-MAO! Didi-MAO!

Taquitos.

Luke's picture

Really hoping the NCAA's mao is an empty chamber.

Matt's picture

I really hope the emails don't say

"HEY SARN!! IT LOOKS LIKE TP !! IS SELLING HIS RINGS AND NEEDS MORE MONEY !! CAN YOU HELP WITH THE MONEY PART !! GO BUCKS!!"

Pam's picture

I find the pic both disturbing and inappropriate. 

Chris Lauderback's picture

I hear you, Pam. Just like Tressel's actions. Disturbing and innappropriate. I never thought I'd see the day when I was almost afraid to wake up and discover the latest news regarding the great Jim Tressel.

Pam's picture

Me either.  I fucking hate it.  I am not a naive kid, so if this has all been an act, then he deserves an Oscar cause I bought it hook line and sinker. If this newest stuff has him out, I don't think I can go to a game this fall.  I will need a mourning period before I accept not seeeing him roaming the side lines.

btalbert25's picture

To me, all this info was already known by the school and NCAA, if he were going to be fired it would've already happened.

741's picture

Yep. This is only news to us - not OSU or the NCAA. If he was going to be fired I think it would have happened already.

buckeyedude's picture

I agree. Gene Smith commented, "there is no smoking gun," did he not?

That is what I'm hoping, anyway.

 

 

WestCoastBuckeye's picture

Every little bit that gets leaked is eroding my confidence in Tressel. I can't help but hear death bell tolls every time something new comes out. I feel really horribly for the seniors like Sanzenbacher and Boren who did nothing wrong but now will likely have games ripped away from them and championships lost.

The irrational fan in me gets upset and says " All this is from kids selling their own things. Why is that even an offense?" But then I sit back and realize it doesn't matter why, it just mattered that it happened. Now every potentially shady little thing that happens at OSU we have to take it. Like the incoming recruit and his questionable actions with regards to ROTC candidates. Either we take the OJ Simpson route and say "Hey he was never convicted." or we realize that Pam is right. We all drank the Kool Aid, and Tressel is just another, albeit very well disguised, Nick Saban.

btalbert25's picture

You are entitled to that opinion certainly, but I think it couldn't be farther from the truth.  Tressel has done so much good in his tenure as a head coach, both on and off the field.  That isn't simply undone because he screwed up royally here.  Do you think Nick Saban would've tried to help MoeC get his life back on track?  Do you think Saban takes time out of his schedule in September, when the season is in full swing to write letters to 7th graders telling them to keep working hard in school?  I'm not sure Saban makes his team go to the State capital to honor the military. 

As for the players and vacated wins, do you really think they'll sit down and think man, we didn't win those games?  Just because the record book may not show it, they beat Michigan again, they beat the SEC, they beat Miami.  They won another Big 10 title.  Who cares if the record book shows it or not, they fought the battle, they celebrated the victory, and they won the game, nothing will ever take that away from them.

WestCoastBuckeye's picture

All valid points BT, and I am REALLY really trying not to go overly cynical on all this, but WHY in Gods name of all people to contact, would he send information to this guy? If he was confused with what to do with it then why not just say, You know what, I bet compliance has some ideas on how to handle this. it all boils down to I am wrong on one of two things for certain here, Because what Tressel did was either monumentally stupid, or Dirty. Either one of those two tarnishes the image I have of him. That. Sucks. 

To the latter point, Yes, They achieved all those things. The feelings from those Moments endure. But the ties to those moments from here on out, will be tainted by the words cheated, ineligible and revoked. Ask the Fab Five how many celebrations they get to have of their on court success with the Huns? Will Sanzenbacher, et al, ever be called back to celebrate a great season? Will there be reunions of this class 20-30 years down the road on the field, like there should be? More than likely not. This senior class is one of the winningest(if not the winningest) teams of all time in Buckeye land and desereved to be memorialized for it. Now they will go down as being part of a scandal they had nothing to do with. That.  Sucks. Too.

buckeyedude's picture

Why is everybody assuming that last year's games will be vacated? Is this just guessing, or does someone have "inside information."

 

 

Maestro's picture

Because he knew the players would have been ruled ineligible at least for part fo the season so they played games with "ineligible" players.

vacuuming sucks

tomcollins's picture

I'm sorry your boyfriend is a liar and a cheat.  Even if he helps his players get jobs from you.

741's picture

Geeze, is that kind of personal attack (presumably on Pam - who has a track record of being respectful to everyone here) really necessary on 11W? That's more the kind of thing you expect from other Buckeye sites, and thankfully not so much here.

tomcollins's picture

It's not a personal attack.  It's just her reaction is same realization that a child gets when he finds out Santa Claus isn't real.

WestCoastBuckeye's picture

so to sum up, it's not a personal attack but you're either calling her childish or naive...

Also Santa is real and you are a dirty dirty liar. Who else gets all the presents around the world in one night? Parents?

Pam's picture

You can say it is not a personal attack all you want.  But it is directed to me personally because I shared a personal account I had with someone who I personally believed in for the last 10 years and someone that for me personally, couldn't have done something like this.  But, that's my personal opinion, just as it is your personal opinion that JT is a liar and a cheat. 

 

 

 

 

tomcollins's picture

facts aren't opinion.  Even Tressel admitted he lied and cheated.

Pam's picture

Ok, it wasn't a personal attack after all. You're just a dick.  And that is a fact. 

Matt's picture

AW SHIT TOM COLLINS JUST GOT STRAIGHT PAM-PWND

 

PAM PWNAGE

Denny's picture

Dick's Sporting Goods? Their website is the best.

Taquitos.

Irricoir's picture

Denny, doing what he does best. Give it a break dude.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

Nappy's picture

I found out the hard way dicks.com does not sell golf equipment 

Fan of bacon since 1981

Johnny Ginter's picture

yeah they do.

www.dicks.com

click on it. at work. trust me.

tomcollins's picture

Let's hug it out and sing Josh Groban.

 

buckeyedude's picture

ROFL!!!!! Where's RichRod when you need him?!!

 

 

JakeBuckeye's picture

Tom, you really are a dick. That's putting it very nicely too. Stay classy.

btalbert25's picture

I think it's fair to say, outside of the writers you have probably talked to Tressel more than anyone else, even if it was through emails and letters.  You have a relationship there.  I can certainly understand your being upset and disappointed. I think we are all disappointed to varying degrees.  There are just too many examples of good the man has done to let 1 negative tear down my opinion of the guy.  Have you had any correspondance with him since all this has come out?

Bucks's picture

Everyone, obviously emotions are high when it comes to a team we all love. With that said, I'm hoping we can be civil towards one another. One of the few sites around that keeps things fun & enjoyable w/o having to deal with a bunch of dribble or insults. Let's not join them.

Pam's picture

Thank you Pam. I am so sorry, and promise to grow from this. As will our young people. God does indeed have a mission for us. God bless you and yours.

Coach Jim Tressel
Ohio State Football

Sent from my iPad

On Mar 8, 2011, at 1:06 PM, "p m"  wrote:

> Dear Coach Tressel,
>
> My thoughts and prayers are with you for what I am sure is a very trying time.  Lean on your faith and the knowledge that you have so many supporters.
>
> God bless you,
>
> Pam Mason

AeroBuckeye2001's picture

Coach has an iPad? And is emailing from it? Wow.

I don't even know where to go with that?

The Ohio State University Class of 2001
BS Aero & Astronautical Engineering

JakeBuckeye's picture

I really can't tell if you're being sarcastic? Haha.

The_Lurker's picture

I'll take "Posts that JoPa Doesn't Understand" for 500, Alex.

BucksfanXC's picture

I think Ramzy is counter-pointing the people that have pissed me off the most in this whole mess: the haters (I'm looking at you MGoBlog commenters) who think this is just the latest in a pattern of cheating by Tressel.

I don't personally know Jim Tressel, I'm not involved in the decisions he's made over his career. However, like most of us here, I feel I know him better than most of his haters know him. Because of that, I'd like to think he hasn't been tricking me for 10+yrs. I'd like to believe I didn't have wool over my eyes all this team. Maybe that's naive and biased because I don't want to feel like I've been made a fool of all this time. But I doubt it.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

RBuck's picture

Did        not          need         this          today.

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

Matt's picture

OSU = Basketball School.

Gene Smith, lock Matta up for the next decade with a huge salary bump so that we at least have something to weather the impending years-long winter that is headed our way in the form of NCAA smackdown.

gravey's picture

UNCLE! UNCLE!  Enough salt in this wound....He made a mistake.  A dumb and enduring mistake.  I get it, but I refuse to believe he's fundamentally a bad guy.  Erasers are on everyone's pencils.  He'll do his penance like he should and as family we need to move on. 

I'll keep in mind the Drushaun Humphries story...and get ready for the hoops team tonight.

The_Lurker's picture

I'm inclined to agree. Someone sleazy would have known that all he had to do was say he never read the emails, and it would all be over but the player suspensions.

Hoody Wayes's picture

Uncle Billy, forget'ye not, the immortal words of Robert Burns:

"The best laid plans of mice and men, gang aft aglay."

Forget'ye not, Uncle Billy. Aye! Forget'ye not!

elaydin's picture

I'm interested to see if the NCAA already knew this.  It almost came out in the press conference.

I keep holding on to the hope that Gene Smith has been working on this with the NCAA since February and they're really OK with the suspension originally handed down by OSU and "TheComplianceGroup".

Bucks's picture

Yes, they did/do. I realize there have been a ton of people who witnessed that moment and chose to believe that JT was just affirming he heard the question. That was obviously not the case. All anyone who has familiarity with this type of thing (litigation/investigations/etc) had to hear/see was Gene Smith swooping in and mentioning that had to do with a line of questioning with the NCAA currently. It was obvious. On that note, it had better of been one of the preliminary disclosures to the NCAA and NOT one of the last things disclosed.

 

Going to have to internalize this for today and come back on it later. Someone look up a numbers combination for all the days/dates of the bad news right before a tOSU bball game. Maybe even scoring stats of that days game! Going to go hit the lottery today :P

 

All joking aside though, I am looking forward to just the conclusion of this. Get it done and out of the way. All we need now is a revelation that Ted Sarniak is under investigation by the NCAA as a providing improper benefits to all the kids that have come from that area. Oh but that information couldn't come out until the day of our next game and/or the final four.

RBuck's picture

Good post. Makes me wonder if the BasketBucks are good enough to make it to the championship game, will the NCAA sanctions come down on that Monday?

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

Luke's picture

The pic, FWIW, is a reference to the immortal EDSBS post. If you take everything sardonic as gospel it's going to be a looooooooong internet lifetime, y'all.

The_Lurker's picture

Well, regardless of where it's from, if your life has ever been touched by the suicide of another, it hits you in a spot that doesn't understand blog references. That's all I'm saying.

Denny's picture

That's all I'm saying.

Taquitos.

Luke's picture

I don't think anyone's saying suicide isn't tragic, but in the same light, the snarky, light hearted side of the internet isn't exactly bed fellows with outrage and righteous indignation. I think anyone approaching a JPG ON A WEBSITE rationally would get it was a popular culture reference and not a malicious attempt to dig at real world emotional wounds. We aren't the Dispatch and we're cognisant that that's part of the appeal. None the less, I think we all know you can't please everyone. Thank you all for your continued support of 11W.

The_Lurker's picture

For the record, I merely said I found the pic disturbing. I know it's nothing malicious. I won't be losing sleep over it, stop reading 11W over it or seek counseling because of it. We can still be chillbros. :)

BucksfanXC's picture

The NCAA definitely knew this. Tressel has made dumb mistakes, but he would not have made the mistake of saying, "Yes I forwarded it" in a press conference and not to the NCAA. It's not like he thought he could hide the press conference like an email...

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

qualityshows's picture

Had Tressel not lied the NCAA could be focusing on far greater moral issues than selling jerseys and getting tattoos. Programs all over the country are thanking him for taking the heat.

Haven't we students of history seen this before? A small indiscretion covered up becomes a far bigger scandal than the original acts.  Is Jim Tressel NCAA's Nixon in a Sweater Vest?

http://wp.me/pKBYM-v3

btalbert25's picture

I think Tressel's handling of the situation proves that he's not a life long cheater.  Not even OJ Simpson was this sloppy in his crime.  I do hate to say though, it does look more and more like he was trying to make sure his players didn't get suspended.  I can't really blame him, that team was potentially the most talented group he has coached at Ohio State and a national title was definitely a possibility. 

It really doesn't change my opinion of the guy though.  There's just way too much evidence of all the great things he has done for the players and fans of the Ohio State family.  He certainly is different from and better than the likes of Saban, Myles, Chizik, and Kelly(both of them really)

BucksfanXC's picture

At the outset, I refused to believe he cared more about the on-the-field stuff than the off-the-field stuff. Now I kind of have to admit that maybe he did do it to cover up and keep them eligibile, for which he definitely deserves to be severely punished. I thought suspended for 4-5 games would be enough at first, now I'm thinking vacated wins is inevitable.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Maestro's picture

Concerned for his player's safety, like he said.  I don't see how that is such a terrible thing.

vacuuming sucks

Bucks's picture

Maestro, if the only person he reached out to on this was TP's mentor ... it can't slide in my mind it was just concern. That would mean "Well yeah, I had concern ... but only for my most important player, not the rest."

If the above information is accurate on the forwarding and who knows what will be in the conversations between the two, I'm not sure JT will only get 10.1. Troublesome.

Maestro's picture

Well to be fair he only knew of Pryor and Posey at this stage in the game.  We don't know what discussions took place or if he reached out to anyone associated with DeVier.  All we know is that he forwarded an email to someone who he thought could be a positive influence on TP.

Now as for the "confidentiality" excuse............that seems to have gone by the wayside.

vacuuming sucks

btalbert25's picture

Remember when Cowherd and others kept carrying on about a school about to get nailed?  I know they weren't referring to Ohio State, so I'm really looking forward to April/May when this info comes out and we stop hearing about Ohio State.  Every school connected to this "scouting service"  is going to end up getting nailed.  Can't wait for that shit storm to hit so Tressel and the Bucks  don't look so bad lol.

Bucks's picture

Ha, agreed. I thought we were supposed to have another story breaking by now. Thought Wetzel said there was one coming in this timeframe (couple weeks) that wouldn't be the big one, but still not good.

Wouldn't mind it coming out this afternoon. Anyways, looking forward to the game! Looking forward to the tourney live chat as well :)

Jdadams01's picture

At this point I just want closure. I want the NCAA to hurry up and make a ruling. I want all the information to just come out, because it will eventually anyway. And I want a decision made as to whether or not Tressel will be our furture coach. If so, good let's get some finality so we can circle the wagons. If not, let's get it over with so we can bring in Urban Meyer or whoever else and move forward with our national reputation, recruiting, and kicking Michigan's pathetic ass.

btalbert25's picture

I think it's going to be a while before we hear anything about a ruling.  Sounds like NCAA has several irons in the fire this off season.  Oregon, Auburn, Tennessee are all being looked at.  LSU has now been connected too the so called scouting service and paid him a ton of money after a recruit signed, much like Oregon did.  That could end up being the real story in college football this year.

As for Tressel, I don't think there is any question he'll be on the sideline, Gee pretty much silenced any of those rumors.  All the information we are getting now,is allready known by Gene Smith and Gee.  Tressel won't go anywhere unless he steps down, or some totally separate issue comes up that he is implicated and it blindsides Smith.

Roger's picture

Ironic that you should mention MLK and Lincoln in your plagiarism example, the former being a noted plagiarist and the latter being the most mis-attributed public figure in history.

Bucks's picture

What was the point of that? To barb someone cheaply for wishing this to reach a finality?

Roger's picture

Nope, simply pointing out the irony. Your projection is a bit of a leap.

Denny's picture

"Fozzie avatars are pretty much the douchiest avatars." - Abraham Lincoln, as delivered in his "I have a dream about Martie Luther King" speech.

Taquitos.

iball's picture

I think todays big-time big dollar programs are far too wide open for one man to handle or be responsible for. It's just a joke that players can't sell personal items in the first place, or poor inner city kids can't accept a pair of sneakers from someone who has ties to a college. The fact that all this came out after the ESPN Fab 5 documentary, really sheds light on how behind the times the NCAA really is and how out of touch they are with real life.

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

bcWEcouldn'tGOfor3's picture

I think we should all wake up and realize that there is a slim chance Tressel gets out of this thing with his job.

It is only going to get worse as the NCAA keeps digging deeper.

 

btalbert25's picture

I just don't see where there is any "news" that has changed anything.  The information we are finding out, you know darn well the university had the night of the press conference.  In fact, if Wetzel would've done his job and got the information request prior to the press conference he would've never had to ask if the email was forwarded, it would've been obvious.  Just because we are now getting extra bits and pieces of info, doesn't mean the University hasn't known it for months.

We have a guy with a source in the middle of all this stuff who comments on here regularly.  He shared his info that Tressel was being investigated, back when Cowherd was spouting off about Oregon.  His source was retained back in what December or January?  The University knew this was all going to hit the news and it wasn't going to look or be good.  If they were going to fire him for this mess, it would've been done already. 

elaydin's picture

Good post.  This opinion seems to be shared by certain other "insiders".

I'm hoping it plays out like this.  It just gets hard to keep the faith.

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

I really think if tOSU was gonna hand Tress a pi k slip, itwould have happenedby now. Like my mother always told me, there is no reason to worry until you know what to worry about. I heard there is a big game in Newark tonight. Anyone else hear about it?

Adolphus Washington is half grizzly bear and half dragon | Noah Spence kills quarterbacks, just to watch them die.

luckynewman13's picture

for the last time: the NCAA already knows everything there is to know, as well as OSU

tomcollins's picture

This is true if there isn't more information to come out.  It really looks like Gene Smith and Gee were dumb enough to buy JT's line of bullshit about an investigation keeping him from sharing the information.  Either that or they are covering it up for him, which is even worse.  I wonder if Smith even survives this.

btalbert25's picture

I thought it was pretty obvious that Gene Smith knew that was BS in the Press Conference.  They knew Tress forwarded the emails, which means they knew that he wasn't keeping things confidential.  They also knew who they were forwarded too.  They aren't idiots.  They reviewed his emails and knew who he got email from and who he sent emails too.  If they knew he received the info from Cicero, they certainly know he also talked to Pryor's agent sorry Mentor or whatever he is.  This is all info they knew.  The also knew it was going to come to light.  For this particular transgression, he certainly would've been fired already.

The only way he gets fired is if another scandal results from this.  If they found he has covered up other things and lied about it, or if he knew somehow that the booster he contacted had provided improper benefits to players as well.  This information that is out there and that we keep getting is info that was known well before the story hit the news and the press conference. 

Sgt. Elias's picture

"In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity."
Hunter S. Thompson

Anyway, let's go hoopyball Bucks, beat UK!  Gaaaah, I'm nervous for tonight...

"Okay -- I've got an El Camino full of rampage here." 

btalbert25's picture

Ahh, you are going to cheer go Bucks, beat UK but quote an HUGE UK fanatic?  lol That's bad juju man!

Sgt. Elias's picture

Nope, it's sweet delicious irony. I sacrificed a chicken to Jobu to ward of any bad juju as insurance.  The chicken was Tandori, and is now in my stomach, but point made.

"Okay -- I've got an El Camino full of rampage here." 

The_Lurker's picture

Probably more appropriate if it was Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Conroy's picture

Rumors spreading around the internet that Urban Meyer is buying a house in UA....

Matt's picture

That's a few days old now and has been shot down by Dispatch beat reporters as bogus.

741's picture

You think Herbie's called him and offered to give him a good price on his crib?

The_Lurker's picture

Herbie would GIVE his house to Urban Meyer.

phxbuck's picture

Man this sucks.  The only good thing that could come out of this is we hire Urban Meyer and his first order of business is to clip Jim Bollman and pressure Gene Smith in to spending SEC money for 1st rate Coordinators and assistants! 

Bucks's picture

If we hired Urban, my support for tOSU would be at an end. Since I think a monkey would come out of my butt first, not too worried about it.

tomcollins's picture

I used to have a general dislike for Meyer, and would have hated having him as the coach.  But at this point, I'd take him over Tressel in a heartbeat.

gwalther's picture

-1,000,000

Class of 2008

btalbert25's picture

I wouldn't hate Urban Meyer, but I really like Tressel. Some people just have never cared for Tressel coaching Ohio State.  He he squanders talent, he's boring, and whatever other reasons they come up with.  Their reasons have been proven wrong time and again so something like this gives them actual ammo and a real reason to spread their dislike for Tressel. 

 

tomcollins's picture

Did you turn off your TV at halftime in the Arkansas game?  That game is the perfect symbolism for Tressel.  When he's out for blood with nothing to lose, he's absolutely top notch. 

Evil Tressel (who I absolutely love) got off to a great start.  Then the real Tressel came out, and almost squandered a game we were crushing.  This happens all the time in big games.  Nothing is proved wrong.

 My favorite Tressel game plans are: 1) Miami (2003), 2) Arkansas first half (2011), 3) Texas first half(2008?), 4) Michigan (2001), 5) Michigan (2004).  He will exploit the crap out of every team and it's a thing of beauty.  I just wish that guy coached entire games.

Notice that in most of those games, we get out to a roaring start, then take our foot off their throat, and let them get back in it.  There's also the spineless decisions, like kicking a FG against USC that are annoying, but a lot of coaches are terrible at that, so it's somewhat excusable.  Pete Carroll wasn't.

I'm not a Tressel hater, he just makes some very obvious in-game mistakes.  If I could have Tressel for game preparation and schemes, and then have someone who knew how to use what he comes up with in games, we'd be unstoppable.  He gives me plenty to love, so it's extra frustrating when he has the team effectively put their head inside the turtle shell and try to ride out victories instead of going for the kill.  In the Arkansas game, he did show some balls going (correctly) for the 4th down that had the fumble, so I do see him correctly making decisions.  He reminds me of Dan Harrington in poker.  He has this image of being so nitty and conservative, but when it matters, in the right moments, he uses that image for strength.  Tressel is just so damn close to being absolutely unstoppable, it can be frustrating to watch.  I know he's got the talent.  He just needs the balls sometimes.

 

Denny's picture

Just give up man! Can't you see you've already lost a large number of arbitrary Internets points?!

Taquitos.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

If you made these comments right after the USC loss you would have much more support.

Personally, as long as nothing new happens, I only want Tress coaching our Buckeyes.

Jdadams01's picture

I don't hate Meyer in any way. Whether it would be him or whoever, I just want a coach who keeps Ohio State a respectable, clean, and successful program. And I think that if it was Meyer and he came and won as well or better than Tressel, OSU fans wouldn't complain one bit.

Bucks's picture

No thank you, but obviously we are all entitled to our opinions.

Hoody Wayes's picture

Perhaps, Jim Tressel is wondering if he set himself up...for this - looming - downfall.

"Be not too hasty to trust or admire the teachers of morality; they discourse like angels, but they live like men." - Dr. Samuel Johnson

Hoody Wayes's picture

There have been many coaches and players, at Ohio State. But, Ohio State fans are forever.

It's their game. It's our team.

Maestro's picture

Excellent point.  I am not ready to turn the page on this chapter, but if they decide to can Tress (I don't see it happening) I will rest comfortably knowing that the program is bigger than any one coach.

vacuuming sucks

Bucksfan's picture

I just can't understand why this would ever be grounds for a firing.  These kids sold their stuff, and have since been caught.  They will pay their price.  Tressel got information with at least some names involved and perhaps what they had done.  He made one mistake involving the NCAA - an entity which anyone in their right mind thinks does more harm than good - in what amounts to an exceptionally transparent career and people are saying he deserves to be fired?  I don't think that point can be emphasized enough - NO ONE thinks the NCAA does a good job or should even exist.  Every decision they hand down contradicts a previous one at some other date.

Look I don't like the situation, either.  But Tressel didn't do anything here that would necessitate losing his job, despite the language in his contract that it CAN be grounds for firing.  The NCAA is a piece of garbage.  It's impossible to judge a man by their criteria.

btalbert25's picture

Well said.  While there are some who are going to judge Tress as a liar and cheater, or will attack his character I say if this info comes out last winter, before all the Cam Newton chatter, Ohio State gets a slap on the wrist.  It's only because the NCAA wants to be relevant and prove to everyone that they are that this is even a story.  There isn't a long history of sleazy deals and stabbing other coaches and players in the back here.  This isn't a guy paying kids to come to their school.  It's not an athletic department paying a "scouting service" 25,000 after he coaxes recruits to go to their school.

I find it laughable that people are willing to lump Tressel in with known slimebags like Pearl or Kiffin.  Even guys like Urban who have been known for blowing smoke up recruits asses and negative recruiting.  Tress doesn't do that kind of stuff.  I guess it's where you draw the line.  People have a problem with a guy who tried to cover up something that really wasn't a big deal.  They'll bash that guy's character.  Yet, the have no problem with Les Miles and his ethically deplorable recruiting practices.  There's nothing wrong with letting a kid move into the dorm and 2 days before school telling him he no longer has a scholarship, nah, it's fine, it's within the rules.  Nick Saban can make sure a highschool gets a huge upgrade to their facilities, nevermind the fact that the school has some top recruits you are trying to land.  That's a legal good character move there. 

There are a lot of coaches out there doing much worse than Tressel did here.  Some are working with in the rules and some aren't, but I have to wonder have they done even a fraction of the good for their schools and communities as Tressel has? 

The_Lurker's picture

Wow, by the looks of things, Corn Nation is going to be fun to hate. Huskers fans are joining in on the schaudenfreude early, and somewhat inaccurately at times.

Trollin over at CornNation.com.

Jason Priestas's picture

I'm sure they realize we could come and snatch their head coach any time we wanted to (though we won't because he has his own set of issues).

The_Lurker's picture

I vote Bo Pellini "Most Likely to Go Out Like Woody Hayes Did, Only Minus the Championships."

Maestro's picture

Yes, let's not go there.  I think he is a ticking time bomb.

vacuuming sucks

M Man's picture

Very fine post by Ramzy.  Good comments, too.

Who knows; the NCAA investigation might, in the end, be your friend.  And by that I mean specifically that it might draw a double line underneath any speculation about how egregious Tressel's actions might have been.  It could ultimately prove that yes,Tressel was not forthcoming, but that he did nothing more than to take information that he was given and privately encourage his players, and the players' family and friends, to straighten up.  That's hardly death-penalty material.  Especially when we know (I presume we know) everything about the original offense.  Which was player-only, and not coaches, staff or administrators.

I just want to remind you guys how wildly the Detroit press was raging against Rodrigeuz & Co. in August and September of 2009, and anytime thereafter that there was a new break in the story.  Every bit as bad as what you guys are seeing now.

And in the end, the NCAA folded on the allegation that Rodriguez 'failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance' and instead saved face by converting it to an instiutional 'failure to supervise.'  (It had been the only allegation that was personal to Rodriguez.)  Which, purely from Rich Rodriguez's viewpoint, was like having a vehicular manslaughter charge dropped, and replaced with a ticket for a busted headlight.  Not by virtue of a plea deal or slick lawyering, but precisely because the prosecutor and the defense attorneys both investigated it thoroughly, together, and agreed on the conclusion.

Maestro's picture

This is why I can't get in line with the people who say he needs to resign or be fired.  Let's wait until we know all the info and go from there.  I assume that Smith and Gee now know all the info and have decided to stand behind Tress.  I am putting faith in their decision.

vacuuming sucks

tomcollins's picture

Yes, I put my faith in the decisions of a guy who calls out TCU for being weak, declaring the greatest victory in Ohio State history to be a tie, and make an absolutely horrible joke in one of the most serious press conferences that put egg on the face.  If there's one person I don't trust it's Gee.  He has the judgement skills of a fruit fly.

Maestro's picture

Put a mic in his face, and he is a bit of a boob, but the guy is not a dumbass.

vacuuming sucks

tomcollins's picture

I'm not saying he's a dumbass, but he makes poor decisions.

btalbert25's picture

Does anyone really think Gee gives an EFF about football?  Think of what the man's job is.  To run THE Ohio State University.  Now, being a sports blog and football fans it's easy to think football runs the school, though it could be farther from the truth.  The 20 some odd million dollars the football team brings to the athletic department is great it helps fund all the non revenue sports and helps Ohio State have the best facilities out there.  If Ohio State is on probation of not, the money is still going to come pouring.  Over 100,000 people are going to spend the 70 or so bucks it costs to get in. Big 10 network Revenue will still flow.  People are stillg oing to buy shirts and jerseys. He was just there to creat a united front.

That 22 million or whatever the football team generates is just a drop in the bucket compared to all the research dollars, and huge donations from super rich alumni that come in.   He made some ridiculous jokes because it was ridiculous that they had to have a press conference in the first place.  He certainly had to not attend something more important to the university to end up at that press conference.

tomcollins's picture

Of course he cares.  And of cousre it hits donations, big time.  That's why he cares.  It's not just the tickets, its the donations, etc...

You don't think football plays a big role in that?  He get's that football is huge, that's why he's at every game and prominently there.  It's not like that dumb bitch (I forgot her name, but man she was awful, and completely destroyed Ohio State in other interviews after she was gone) who was there before him who wanted to completely sanitize football Saturdays, who completely did not get what Ohio State was.  If there's one thing Gee absolutely gets it's what Ohio State is.  And while a lot of University presidents resent football taking away attention, Gee understands how it's actually a good thing and uses it for the university's benefit.

btalbert25's picture

There probably are people who donate based soley on football, but Gee entertaining potential donors at a football game, and donations coming in because of football are two totally different things.  A lot of businesses use luxury suites at a stadium to entertain potential customers, but I don't think a major donor who is going to fund groundbreaking research for the medical department is going to make that decision based on what is going on with the football team.

tomcollins's picture

We can agree to disagree here, but school pride is huge, and a huge factor in a lot of this.  And football is absolutely, without a doubt, a huge factor in this.  I'd be interested, if this data was publicly available, in non-athletic department donations over time compared to how well the football team did in the years around that.  I'd be absolutely shocked if there wasn't a huge correlation.

I'm not talking about the Wexner's and other mega-donors (are there any even close to his scale?), but the "very significant" donors who have significant numbers where noise gets drowned out.

Even if it helps Gee by just appearing to be interested in football, he comes across as actually a Buckeye, rather than some empty suit in charge who is embarassed by the rowdiness.  Being in charge of an organization like this, image is huge, and "getting" your "customers", or in this case, donors, is huge.

btalbert25's picture

I can agree with most of that.  School pride definitely is huge, and I think a lot of that is tied to great memories from your days at Ohio State.  Obviously, if you were a student at the school some of those memories happened at football games, and football is dear to your heart.  I have no doubt that it helps. 

 

Pam's picture

Does anyone here follow Gee's Twitter account?  The dude is everywhere repping tOSU:

  . Bring on those Kentucky Wildcats. Hoping for a sea of scarlet and gray in New Jersey. Go Bucks!     8 minutes ago  via HootSuite
   
      Congrats to our student-athletes, who volunteered 461 service hours in our community last month. about 9 hours ago via HootSuite
            
      Kudos to Ohio State students who are installing solar lighting project in Haiti over Spring break. http://seoosu.weebly.com 10:15 AM Mar 24th via HootSuite
           
       
      Ohio State alumni in Colorado get A+ for OH-IO chants and supporting their alma mater. 9:30 PM Mar 23rd via HootSuite
                
      Westward bound to share vision for Ohio State with University friends in Denver. 3:30 PM Mar 22nd via HootSuite
        
      Proud to showcase faculty innovators at Medical Center with Gov. Kasich. News at 11. 12:43 PM Mar 22nd via HootSuite
          *
      
      Join me tonight at St. John Arena to watch Jantel & Company battle Georgia Tech in NCAA tourney game. Go Bucks! 5:02 PM Mar 21st via HootSuite
          *
       
      Spring break, the perfect time to discuss shared issues with other central Ohio college and university presidents. 8:15 AM Mar 21st via HootSuite
            
      Commencement speaker Donna James to today's graduates: "Career planning is an oxymoron, but do it anyway." 7:17 PM Mar 20th via HootSuite
         
      Commencement weekend underscores University’s mission: to educate citizens, enrich communities, and enlighten society. Congrats, graduates. 8:45 AM Mar 19th via HootSuite
        
      March Madness for Buckeye men today and women tomorrow. We go all the way this year. Go Bucks! 8:20 AM Mar 18th via HootSuite
             
      Tomorrow’s message to Institute of International Education conference: our goal is global perspective for all students. 10:55 PM Mar 17th via HootSuite
              
      Join me for women's basketball tournament game Saturday at 1:30pm vs. Central Florida at venerable St. John Arena. 10:23 AM Mar 17th via HootSuite
               
      More global good: Ohio State reception in NYC this evening at Museum on Chinese in America. 6:10 PM Mar 16th via HootSuite
           
      Congrats to Jared Sullinger, freshman player of the year as voted by nation's basketball writers. Go Bucks! 12:54 PM Mar 16th via HootSuite
                
      Looking forward to give-and-take with Boston alumni at Union Oyster House this evening. 6:40 PM Mar 15th via HootSuite
         
      Students still grumpy over losing an hour to daylight savings time, and on top of that, it is Finals Week. Forge ahead. 9:22 AM Mar 14th via SocialOomph
            
      Looking forward to working with COSI to bring our partnership to next level. 10:20 AM Mar 13th via SocialOomph
          *      
      Anticipating today’s presentation by Fisher College of Business class on marketing Ohio State brand. 11:30 AM Mar 12th via SocialOomph
  
      On my way to participate in investiture ceremony for Columbus State’s dynamic new president, David Harrison. 2:35 PM Mar 11th via SocialOomph
  

Jdadams01's picture

Tom, do you ever see the good side of anything? Or are you always such a negative, know-it-all dick?

JakeBuckeye's picture

Hah. Tom Collins tends to come off that way to some people.

buckeyedude's picture

I'm thinking the next press conference, Tressel needs to 1.) Cry and say the words, "I'm sorry." and 2.) ask everyone to hold hands and sing, "you raise me up," and then all will be well with the world.

 

 

M Man's picture

Seriously, this business about Rich Rodriguez "crying" has always been a mystery to me.  I know that for a long time if you Googled "Rich Rodriguez" one of the first three auto-options was "Rich Rodriguez crying."

This is a weird story in the 'how-do-you-prove-a-negative' kind of way.  I don't know of any occasion, any youtube link, in which Rodriguez could be seen crying.  I know of two times that he got very choked up; one in his press conference immediately following the newspaper story (completely blindsiding everybody) about the widly exaggerated and mostly false practice-time allegations.  And it wasn't just the fact of that story -- Rodriguez didn't have the slightest difficulty dealing with that part.  What nearly (I say nearly) drove Rodriguez to an emotional edge was the fact that the only two players who were quoted by the Free Press reporters were two freshman, both with the program for about three weeks before they the interviews, who were sandbagged by completely misleading questions from a reporter who didn't tell the players about the nature of the story or the questions.  (During a Media Day press-scrum.)  It was a near-criminal abuse of the two freshmen.  And when the two of them, brand new to Ann Arbor, saw their names in a front-page expose' in a big-city newspaper, they both came to Rodriguez's office and reportedly broke down, thinking that they had hurt their coach and their team.  It was a truly awful, despicable story.  Worse, by far, than whatever set off Urban Meyer in that video dustup he had on the practice field.  In that sense, Rodriguez was relatively composed when he alone faced the press to deal with the allegations.

The only other episode I can think of in which Rodriguez is supposed to have been crying was the 2010 year-end football banquet speech.  That too is on video; I don't think Rodriguez actually came close to tears although once again the watchers were ready to pounce, mostly because "Rich Rodriguez crying" had become the operative meme since the aforementioned fall of 2009.

It's a great case-study in the old saying:  A lie will be halfway around the globe, before the truth can get its boots on. 

Now back to basketball.

Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

One Note.  Sarniak, if he indeed had a relationship with Pryor before Pryor became a recruit, is NOT a booster.  Therefore, nothing in the contact between Tressel and Sarniak is damaging.  Same thing with the restauranteur in Warren that was MoC's Sugar-Daddy.  Clarett knew him since his sophomore year in High School and he was a Warren Harding guy. Therefore, nothing he did could reflect on Ohio State.

On the wall guarding the North Coast from all Weasel invasions.

tomcollins's picture

These "friends" are such slimeballs, it's a shady game to deal with, and every coach who wants to have any level of success has to dance around these fools who are only it for themselves.

Backup Placekick holder's picture

this is blow out of proportion.  no one is going to be happy until he no longer the coach.

for someone who is a YSU graduate and has followed coach since 1988 - columbus is going to regret pushing him out.

everyone should be backing him on this TRIVIAL BULLSH!T instead of pushing him out of a job.  A unch of dumb kids sold their stuff to a bad dude.  who cares what they do with their stuff and good for Coach to try and control his kids.
 

So case the man out!  It may be good for ohio state to go return to losing to um every year and making fantastic trips to the outback bowl.  The dispatch can start running articles on losing instead of winning.

Just hope he doesnt go to Penn State or Pitt or Cincinnati and beat you every year.  Remember - he had teams at YSU that Ohio State WOULD NOT PLAY because OSU knew they would lose.

DarthSweaterVest's picture

I still love Tress and want him to stay coach for as long as he wants to coach at OSU, however to state that the Buckeyes were afraid to play Tress' YSU teams is just ludicrous. 

phxbuck's picture

Make the bleeding stop!!!

VABuckeyeFan's picture

Just now read this story and everyone needs to step back from the ledge, or at least get out of the bubble that must be Columbus right now.  If it is true, I would find it completely consistent with his statement of being concerned about the kids.  Sarniak is a mentor of Pryor's, regardless of what anyone here thinks of him, so if you were concerned with his behavior, or his potentially being caught up in something worse, you would naturally contact him.  I would hope he did the same thing with Posey's parents.

Tressel never denied forwarding the emails.  He even looked to be answering in the affirmative in the middle of a national press conference before Smith cut him off.  He was clearly not attempting to hide anything.  We are fortunate to have the best coach in CFB.  When the day comes when we just have someone good with the x's and o's of football it is going to feel pretty hollow to me.  Time to lock arms and quit with all the negativity.

buckeyedude's picture

Didn't Gene Smith say "there is no smoking gun"?

 

 

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

 I said this earlier.  Two words.  Newark.  New Jersey.  Buckeye Basketball.  OK, that's four wprds.  Tress-gate can wait.  No point in babbling about this until we know what the NCAA is going to do.  I LOVE Tress.  I sport his Nike Vest EVERY Friday (casual days at my employer I might add) during the season.  I don't want him going anywhere.  Anyone who suggests that tOSU should fire him needs to immediately turn over their Buckeye card and step into my office....CAUSE YOU'RE EFFING FIRED!  And anyone who suggests Urban Meyer should be his replacement is absolutely special in a door-knob licking, helmet wearing kinda way.  I will take this over 25+ arrests in 5 seasons anyday.  Tress > Chuck Norris > poop > Urban "God wants you here" Meyer....Stop that nonsense right meow... 

Adolphus Washington is half grizzly bear and half dragon | Noah Spence kills quarterbacks, just to watch them die.

buckeyedude's picture

I agree Sweater. I'm in Toledo, and I guess for once I am thankful I am. I think the almost suicidal, on the brink mentality of some Buckeye fans is rediculous, and almost comical. Time for a chill pill, folks.

 

 

M Man's picture

nsfmf.  This is too good to let you edit it.

741's picture

Why is it that so many people think the word is spelled that way?